Thursday, August 21, 2008

Funding journalism

There's an interesting discussion on Hard News today about the idea of a trust to promote independent investigative journalism, kicked off by this comment yesterday from Stephen Judd:

As far as the Guardian and its funding go: l pledge $100 this year and every year that I am employed, towards any trust or non-profit body that will employ journalists, in any medium, to research, and write or produce really good New Zealand stories.

I bet if a few other PA posters and lurkers did the same, we could get an article or two out of it at rates that would be better than the current freelance ones.

(Link added)

The idea of a media trust has been raised before. At the Journalism Matters conference last year, former City Voice editor Jeremy Rose suggested it (or alternatively, a reader buyout) as a way of getting around the problems caused by current ownership structures (short version: leveraged buyouts equals high debt loadings equals demand for higher profits equals cost cutting equals underinvestment in reporting). Though here the suggestion is a vehicle to fund specific pieces of journalism rather than a newspaper or media outlet. It raises a number of interesting questions - not least who would publish the stories - which are currently being hashed through. Join the discussion here.